NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Home Depot announced Monday that it has confirmed a major security breach that could affect customers using credit and debit cards around the U.S. and Canada.
The scale and scope of the breach remained unknown Monday, but company officials do not believe debit PIN numbers were compromised, according to a news release. The breach also was not believed to have affected customers in Mexico or online shoppers.
In the wake of the breach, Home Depot is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any customer who has used a payment card at a Home Depot anytime since April of this year, the release said.
Customers should go to the Home Depot website or call (800) HOMEDEPOT (800-466-3337) to learn more, the release said.
“We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, and I want to thank them for their patience and support as we work through this issue,” said Home Depot chairman and chief executive officer Frank Blake. “We owe it to our customers to alert them that we now have enough evidence to confirm that a breach has indeed occurred. It’s important to emphasize that no customers will be responsible for fraudulent charges to their accounts.”
The investigation began last Tuesday morning after a report from company banking partners and police that a hack may have occurred. Since then, the Home Depot internal information technology team has been working with security firms, banking partners, and the Secret Service to investigate.
Home Depot announced previously that it plans to roll out “chip and PIN” card technology at all U.S. stores by the end to prevent further security breaches.
Previous reports indicated that the hackers responsible for the apparent breach were European — possibly Russian. Russian hackers have been targeting American business in retaliation for U.S. sanctions.
During the holiday shopping season last year, Target was subjected to a hack that affected 40 million credit and debit card accounts.
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